The Vampire Stone

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The clear blue sky had already become a twighlight zone. The sun was no longer visible behind the trees but its left over shards of light reached through the tallest branches trying to get a grasp on anything within reach. Begging for a reason to stay in the daylight, the sun slowly sank making every creature tingle with the first dews of night.

Elizabeth Creek was deserted. The street lamps that lined the only pathway defining road from wood’s edge came to life as the sun sank lower and lower beyond the horizon. The creatures of day slept soundly, others scuttled home. The first mammals of night were coming out. Yet, nothing seemed to stir in Death’s Birch. Death’s Birch. The deep forest that lined Elizabeth Creek. No one ever dared to go into Death’s Birch. The name itself was enough. The story was told for ages and the reason why this huge town once known as Lovett became a small run-down city. Almost a ghost town. However, all the country’s brightest students seemed to be here. The legend happened back way before anyone in this town was dead. Back when it was still Boom city. Before the Lovetts came. The town was said to be fine until one day, kids went missing. A group of Lovett High’s boys were playing harmless boy games in different woodlands. When they came to Death’s Birch, they went in.

They never came out. For some reason, the only boy ever mentioned by name was the one jock who was with the group of boys that day. His name was Dante Asarco. The boy was a big, husky one. Not a football player, a soccer one. He was a straight ‘A’ student. Could have any girl he wanted and chose not one. He never had a girlfriend. Didn’t see the need. He wasn’t cocky, just polite. He had friends. Lost of them and it didn’t matter if they were real or there just for the money because eventually, they went missing. Gone. Never came home. The people never saw it until, eventually, they realized, Dante was the only one coming home anymore. He was blamed. Then, this time, neither did Dante. After the last incident at Death’s Birch, in which a small girl with piggy tail braids fell into a ditch and died, the boys’ fathers and a few other men decided to go looking through the woodland. Twenty eight men went all together. After a week, a memorial service was held for them and all twenty eight of their wives. One for each day. One month. Twenty eight lives. No mercy. The rest of the families; sons, daughters, cousins, and such, fled from Lovett, scared out of their wits that they’d be next.

However, that was long ago and Lovett hadn’t seen a massacre like that since. And, well, nobody really remembered. Everyone in town who had been there first person was gone or dead.A horrible way to think, but the only one who had actually been there was now old. Nowadays he was known as crazy. No one talked to him. He was the crazy lawn man who talked to himself. A great philosopher and mathematician became a lawn man. A sad thought. His legend is that when he talks to himself, he’s actually ranting in old Finnish; his native tongue. He’d been shipped from Bothnia, Finland to Lithuania and from Lithuania as a slave. He was only sixteen when Lovett’s massacre occurred and all hell broke loose to this town.

A close family had brought an interpreter from out of town so he could be understood, but four years after she’d been around, she’d married a man, Conner Dailey, who was among the twenty eight men, and so, she died. Now, he truly had no one. As a lawn man, he wasn’t even paid. No one really watched him because no one really cared. No one knew where he lived, if he even had a home and nor did they want to. He’d saw a lawn that needed mending and he’d just do it and be gone. That was life in Lovett. No big surprises unless you left home with lots of wild grass and would come back an hour later with nicely cut and greened grass. No one thanked him. No one cared to. Supposedly, after the massacre, he kept everything and anything that was sharp as close to him as possible.

That’s when he began lawns. It’s said he did it to watch the town. He only knew one word in English and it was the one word that made the people of Lovett call him crazy. It made them full of fear and dislike instead of pity and a humble heart. Just one word. Just one. And he’d say it so often. If you’d ever pass him on the street and felt particularly nice or evil, (whichever), and decided to say anything to him, he’d respond with always the same answer. He’d reply in one word and one word only. It was spine chilling and the glint in his eyes would make the hairs on your arms and neck stand up. He’d open his mouth and his hazel eyes would scream as he hissed: “Vampire”





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